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Michigan Football Stars React To Coach Being Fired

Michigan football stars reacted to losing a top defensive coach just days before the Ohio State game.



Michigan football, Michael Barrett, Mike Sainristil, Chris Partridge, Ohio State
Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Mike Sainristil (0) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the No. 3 Wolverines walked into SECU Stadium, the home of the Maryland Terrapins, and earned a nail-biting 31-24 win, improving to 11-0 ahead of next weekend’s Ohio State game. On Friday morning, the school announced that linebackers coach Chris Partridge had been fired — reportedly for going against U-M policy and discussing the investigation with players, as well as allegedly destroying computer evidence. After Saturday’s win, a few Michigan football stars — such as Michael Barrett and Mike Sainristil — had a chance to explain their feelings on all that happened with Partridge’s firing.

Michigan football stars lose long-time assistant coach Chris Partridge

Chris Partridge was a long-time assistant coach at Michigan (2015-2019) under Jim Harbaugh, who is currently suspended, though still in his ninth year with the program. After a short stint with Ole Miss in the SEC, serving as defensive coordinator and more, Partridge was re-hired by Jim Harbaugh this fall. While he is not linked to the sign-stealing itself, it sounds like he tried to cover for Connor Stalions, and it backfired on him.

Mike Sainristil shares thoughts after Maryland win

Michigan football won a close one in College Park, MD, on Saturday afternoon, improving to 11-0 heading into a crucial game against No. 2 Ohio State for the second season in a row. Still, the loss of Chris Partridge was clearly a blow for the roster, especially stars like Mike Sainristil and Michael Barrett, who were both on the roster during Partridge’s first stint with the program back in 2019.

“… A few guys were frustrated with it (Chris Partridge being fired),” Sainristil explained after the win. “But you know, where this team has thrived is just being able to say, ‘You know what? No matter what is going on, we can handle anything.’ Just go out there and play for your coach.”

More on Chris Partridge fire from Michael Barrett

Michael Barrett even added that his former coach is a great guy, though he knows that the team’s goals remain intact heading into the Ohio State game, and that is what the Wolverines need to focus on.

“It’s always bad to lose a guy like Coach Partridge,” Barrett said Saturday. “He is a great guy … We all know the things we gotta do; we all know what we’re supposed to do, how we play, how we go about our business.”

Michigan football presses onward with Ohio State and more still ahead

It’s clear that the loss of Chris Partridge has impacted the Wolverines’ defense, especially long-time Michigan football stars who were around when Partridge was first with the team back in the late 2010s; however, Michigan remains locked in on the goals in front of it. Michigan is still contending for everything that the team wants to accomplish right now: a win over Ohio State, a Big Ten title, a College Football Playoff berth, and yes, a national championship.

Next weekend, Michigan will face Ohio State for all the marbles. A win would send the Wolverines to the Big Ten title game — and like the CFP — for the third season in a row, where they will face Iowa, who won the Big Ten West Division on Saturday against Illinois.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.